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Tight security as KCSE exams begin

Monday October 22 2018

Students sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations.

Students sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations at Aga Khan High School in Mombasa in 2016. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Form Four students will on Monday morning begin their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations across the country.

They will start with practical exams which are scheduled to end on November 1, before they kick off theories on November 5 to 29.

Candidates will be examined on oral and braille French. This will be followed by German (oral), Arabic (oral), Kenyan Sign Language (practical signing skills) and home science (foods and nutrition) over two weeks.

The exams are starting amid mixed reactions regarding tight security measures put in place by the government to curb cheating.

On Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta told off educational commentators who claim that the measures amount to militarisation of the education system which might cause panic to candidates.

Speaking at a fundraising and commissioning of the construction of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Kapsabet Plaza, Nandi County, the president warned parents and teachers against compromising the honour of Kenya’s national examinations.


“Where does a child get Sh100,000 to pay for a stolen exam? It must be their parents who are paying," he said.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in areas that were affected by clashes earlier this year.

In Narok where clashes caused several schools to be closed down, County Commissioner George Natembeya said that enough security officers had been deployed to ensure the exams are administered without hitch.

"We are not taking any chances as a government. Elaborate security plans have been put in place ahead of the exams. I wish to assure parents, teachers, candidates and all stake holders that the exams will be administered as planned," he said.


Similar measures have been taken in areas that are prone to attacks from Al-Shabaab sympathisers especially on the Kenya-Somalia border. 

“Border line areas like Kiunga, Ishakani and Mkokoni have been accorded all the necessary security measures. These exams will go on smoothly, we assure that,” Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said.

Earlier, Education CS Amina Mohamed said the ministry will leave nothing to chance and there are preparations to deal with eventualities that may be caused by harsh weather.

The seasonal outlook by Kenya Meteorological Department shows that many areas in the country are likely to experience more than average rainfall during the short rains seasons which runs from October to December.

“It is expected that most parts of the country will experience enhanced rainfall that will also be well distributed both in time and space. This will be more so over north eastern, north western, western, central and the coastal regions of Kenya,” states the seasonal report which adds that the rains are generally expected to peak in November.​